South Dakota state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) was involved in a fatal car accident on Saturday night, according to a report in the Rapid City Journal. Ravnsborg was not injured in the accident, his spokesman, Tim Bormann said.
“The Attorney General was involved in a crash,” Governor Kristi Noem (R) announced at an unscheduled Sunday afternoon press conference in Sioux Falls. “There was a fatality.”
Following Gov. Kristi Noem’s press conference, Ravnsborg’s office released a statement saying he is “shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Gov. Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue to do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.”
The accident occurred in Hyde County as Ravnsborg was driving home from a dinner hosted by the state GOP.
Ravnsborg’s spokesman said that Ravnsborg was not injured in the crash. He also said Ravnsborg “drinks lightly,” and doesn’t think he was drinking at the dinner. A spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said details about the car accident, like whether alcohol was a factor and if any charges are pending, are expected to be shared on Monday, according to the Rapid City Journal.
Gov. Noem also said that law enforcement is “working on identifying the deceased and notifying the family.”
Inspectors from the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation — the equivalent of South Dakota’s Division of Criminal Investigation, which is part of the Attorney General’s Office — will help investigate the crash in order to avoid any appearance or actual conflict of interest, Bormann said.
Ravnsborg will continue his role as Attorney General but there is a policy for what would happen if the crash turns into a criminal investigation, according to his spokesman.